Maha, aka: Māhā; 12 Definition(s)

Introduction

Maha means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

1a) Maha (मह).—A son of Bharatāgni.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 29. 8.

1b) One of the twenty Amitābha gods.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 1. 17; Vāyu-purāṇa 100. 16.

1c) (Maharloka) the fourth of the seven worlds;1 Manus went to it after tapas at Meru; Manus retire to this place when the periods of their duties are over; Gods like Ajitas, Yāma gaṇas and Āyuṣmantas besides Śukra, Cākṣuṣa and others live in Maharloka;2 the space between Dhruva and Jana; the residents of this loka possess mental powers to create any desired thing; even gods sacrifice to each other;3 created from Vyāhṛti.4

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 19. 155; Matsya-purāṇa 60. 2; 61. 1; 184. 23; Vāyu-purāṇa 101. 17.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 21. 22; 35. 179, 197; IV. 1. 25, 33, 122. Vāyu-purāṇa 101. 41, 52, 208; 109. 48.
  • 3) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 2. 2, 21, 40, 42-3; Vāyu-purāṇa 101. 44.
  • 4) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 2. 2, 21; Vāyu-purāṇa 101. 23.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Mahā (महा) refers to an aspect of nṛsiṃha (‘man-lion’), according to the Vihagendra-saṃhitā 4.17, which mentions seventy-four forms (inlcuding twenty forms of vyūha). He is also known as Mahānṛsiṃha or Mahānarasiṃha. Nṛsiṃha is a Tantric deity and refers to the furious (ugra) incarnation of Viṣṇu.

The 15th-century Vihagendra-saṃhīta is a canonical text of the Pāñcarātra corpus and, in twenty-four chapters, deals primarely with meditation on mantras and sacrificial oblations.

Source: Wisdom Library: Pāñcarātra
Pancaratra book cover
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

F Great, superior, of large breadth, noble.

Source: Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary

Maha means great.

Source: Journey to Nibbana: Patthana Dhama
context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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India history and geogprahy

Mahā.—(PJS), abbreviation of Mahājana (especially in medieval Jain inscriptions). Cf. Mahā-Mūla (i. e. the elder Mūla) distinguished from Kṣudra-Mūla (i. e. the younger Mūla); also Mahā-Dharmagiri and Kṣudra-Dharmagiri, etc. Note: mahā is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

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Maha.—(IA 18), abbreviations of Mahattara or Mahattama. Note: maha is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

See also (synonyms): Mahaṃ.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary
India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

maha : (m.) a religious festival. || mahā (mahanta becomes mahā in compounds; the last vowel ā is often shortened euphonically.)

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Maha, (m. & nt.) (fr. mah, see mahati & cp. Vedic nt. mahas) 1. worthiness, venerableness Miln. 357.—2. a (religious) festival (in honour of a Saint, as an act of worship) Mhvs 33, 26 (vihārassa mahamhi, Loc.); VvA. 170 (thūpe ca mahe kate), 200 (id.). mahā° a great festival Mhvs 5, 94. bodhi° festival of the Bo tree J. IV, 229. vihāra° festival held on the building of a monastery J. I, 94; VvA. 188. hatthi° a festival called the elephant f. J. IV, 95. (Page 525)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Marathi-English dictionary

mahā (महा).—a (S See explanation under mahata) Great, big, large. 2 A great one; a mighty personage; as hē ēka mahā āhēta; tō kāya ēka mahā āhē. Used gravely or jeeringly.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

mahā (महा).—a Great, big; a great one.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Maha (मह).—[mah-ghañarthe ka]

1) A festival, festive occasion; बन्धुताहृदयकौमुदीमहः (bandhutāhṛdayakaumudīmahaḥ) Māl.9.21; U.6.4; स खलु दूरगतोऽ- प्यतिवर्तते महमसाविति बन्धुतयोदितैः (sa khalu dūragato'- pyativartate mahamasāviti bandhutayoditaiḥ) Śi.6.19; मदनमहम् (madanamaham) Ratn.1.

2) An offering, a sacrifice.

3) A buffalo.

4) Light, lustre; cf. महस् (mahas) also.

Derivable forms: mahaḥ (महः).

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Mahā (महा).—A cow.

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Mahā (महा).—The substitute of महत् (mahat) at the beginning of Karmadhāraya and Bahuvrīhi compounds, and also at the beginning of some other irregular words. (Note : The number of compounds of which mahā is the first member is very large, and may be multiplied ad infinitum. The more important of them, or such as have peculiar significations, are given below.)

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Māhā (माहा).—A cow.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Mahā (महा).—[, read sahā, q.v.: lokadhātu mahā (so text) nāma Mv iii.342.8, referring to the earth, in which Śākya- muni is preaching the Law.]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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